Restricted access

This content is exclusive to members of the International Journal of Music.

Join now for as low as $1.67 per month…

…or get FREE access if you are a student or teacher!

Cynthia Yeh’s Highlights


Cite this:

Publication date:

ISSN: 2792-8349

Copyright ©

International Journal of Music

  • 1977: Born in Taipei, Taiwan.
  • 1981: Started playing the piano at age 4.
  • 1987: Moved to Vancouver, BC, Canada, with her family at age 10. She started learning percussion during high school.
  • 1995: Enrolled at the University of British Columbia — her first year of undergraduate studies was in Business/Commerce, her second in Piano Performance, and she switched to Percussion Performance for her third and fourth years.
  • 1998: Received the Charles Owen Memorial Scholarship at Aspen Music Festival and School.
  • 1999: Earned her Bachelor of Music Performance degree from the University of British Columbia. She was awarded grants from the Sir Ernest MacMillan Memorial Foundation and the British Columbia Arts Council.
  • 2000: Was granted a scholarship by the Canada Council for the Arts.
  • 2001: Earned her Master of Music Performance degree from Temple University in Philadelphia, where she studied with legendary Philadelphia Orchestra percussionist Alan Abel. Then she stayed in the area for a few years as a freelancer.
  • 2004: Began to serve as principal percussion of the San Diego Symphony Orchestra.
  • 2007: Was appointed principal percussion of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in June, after successfully auditioning in 2006.
  • 2009: Served for the first time on the faculty of the Pacific Music Festival in Sapporo, Japan.
  • 2010: Made her solo debut with the CSO / Pierre Boulez at New York’s Carnegie Hall, performing Bartók’s Sonata for two pianos and percussion.
  • 2011: Participated in the live album Chicago Symphony Orchestra Brass — Live (CSO Resound), featuring works by Gabrieli, Bach, Revueltas, Prokofiev, Grainger and Walton, conducted by Dale Clevenger, Jay Friedman, Michael Mulcahy and Mark Ridenour.
  • 2012: Participated in John Williams’ soundtrack for the film Lincoln (Sony Classical), as well as in Anna Clyne’s album Blue Moth (Tzadik), in Steelworks.
  • 2013: Joined the faculty of the Chosen Vale International Percussion Seminar, and also coached the percussionists of the newly formed National Youth Orchestra of the United States of America during this and the following season.
  • 2014: Appointed faculty member of the Aspen Music Festival and School. She participated in Mason Bates’ album Stereo Is King (Innova Recordings), in Stereo Is King and Difficult Bamboo. Besides, she soloed in Veni, Veni, Emmanuel, a percussion concerto written in 1992 by Scottish composer James MacMillan, with the Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional in Mexico City and conductor Carlos Miguel Prieto in September, and with the CSO and same conductor in December.
  • 2015: Performed as soloist in Anders Koppel’s Marimba Concerto No. 1 with the Illinois Philharmonic Orchestra / David Danzmayr.
  • 2016: Performed as soloist in Jennifer Higdon’s Grammy-Award winning Percussion Concerto with the Chicago Sinfonietta / Mei-Ann Chen in March, and with the National Orchestra of Taiwan (same conductor) at the National Theater and Concert Hall in Taipei in November. Joined the faculty of DePaul University.
  • 2019: Gave the US premiere of Avner Dorman’s Eternal Rhythm with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra / James Gaffigan.
  • 2021: ​​Was one of 14 musicians chosen to perform at the “Inauguration Fanfares for Joe and Kamala” — a tribute to Biden’s inauguration streamed on January 19, as a member of the Hope & Harmony Ensemble, featuring musicians from leading orchestras and conducted by Marin Alsop.

Content Featuring Cynthia Yeh

Did you enjoy this content? Please consider sharing it with others who may find it interesting: